The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Friday, September 30, 2022

16 Best Credit Cards to Use in Europe in 2022

Best Credit Cards To Use In Europe

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Steeped in history, culture, and cuisine, Europe is a top destination for millions of vacationers every year, with plenty of Americans taking the long trip over the pond to explore what the continent has to offer.

But when even a domestic vacation can easily cost hundreds of dollars, a transcontinental adventure is likely to have a four-digit price tag. Luckily, there may be some things you can do to keep your trip on budget.

For example, you can save on fees and earn rewards on nearly every aspect of your European vacation simply by being smart about which credit cards you use.

No Foreign Transaction Fees | Chip & PIN | Travel | Dining | Entertainment | Business

Best “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Cards to Use in Europe

One of the most important fees to watch out for while traveling abroad are foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made in a foreign currency to offset the cost of exchanging the currency from US dollars to the purchase currency.

That being said, there are a good number of credit cards that charge no foreign transaction fees, including many of the most popular travel rewards cards, and you can earn rewards regardless of the currency in which you make purchases.

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The miles earned with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can be redeemed for statement credit to cover a range of travel-related purchases made with your card, a category that includes most transportation from airlines to railways, hotel stays, travel agencies, and even timeshares. Miles can also be transferred to a qualifying frequent flyer program.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns the popular Ultimate Rewards® points, which are lauded for their redemption flexibility and high per-point potential value. Earn 2X points per dollar on travel and dining, one point on everything else, and pay no foreign transaction fees for any of it.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a straightforward unlimited cash back card that offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, regardless of its category. With no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card can be good for your vacation expenses that don’t fall into bonus categories.

Best “Chip & PIN” Card to Use in Europe

Although EMV-chip credit cards have become the standard in most of the world, the chip cards in the UK and US vary in one key way: how they’re authenticated. In the US, we use a signature to authorize purchases (though even that’s being phased out).

However, in Europe, most credit card transactions are authenticated via a four-digit PIN, similar to US debit cards. While your US EMV card can be used for most European merchants, certain unattended kiosks, such as ticket machines and parking garages, will typically require a card with chip-and-PIN capability.

4. Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

This card is currently not available.

Bank of America® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The chip-and-PIN enabled Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card earns an unlimited 1.5X points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fees. Points can be redeemed for a huge range of travel-related purchases, including the basics, such as flights and hotels, as well as things like select tourist attractions.

Best “Travel Rewards” Cards to Use in Europe

Although there are certainly some deals to be had if you’re flexible about when you take your trip, it’s safe to say that travel expenses will likely be the bulk of the cost of your European escape.

Happily, with a good travel rewards credit card, you can start saving up points or miles for your vacation well before you book your trip, potentially eliminating the cost of transportation and/or accommodations with smart redemptions. Plus, earn more points for your taxi rides and rail tickets as you explore your destination.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% - 26.24% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is by and large one of the most popular travel cards on the market. Not only does it earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards® points on travel purchases, it also offers airport lounge access, an annual travel credit, trip cancellation/delay insurance, and a host of other potentially valuable travel perks.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a much lower annual fee than its big sibling, it also earns fewer points, only offering 2X Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar on travel. It also doesn’t come with the travel credit or lounge access, though it does share the trip cancellation and lost baggage insurance.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 2X miles per dollar spent on travel-related purchases, and miles won’t expire for the life of the account. There’s no limit to how many you can earn.

Best “Dining Rewards” Cards to Use in Europe

No matter where we are, food is usually a significant part of the budget. But that number is likely to skyrocket when you head off on a European vacation, especially when most of us spend our vacations in hotel rooms sans kitchens.

Of course, given that many of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations also happen to be hailed for their culinary delights, few of us would likely cook even with a kitchen. Happily, you can explore the tastes of Europe and earn rewards with these dining rewards credit cards.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% - 26.24% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 3X Ultimate Rewards® points for qualifying dining purchases, a broad category that includes sit-down, fast food, and fine dining establishments. And since the card charges no foreign transaction fees, you can swipe without worry regardless of the currency.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers many of the same perks as its big sibling, including no foreign transaction fees, but at a fraction of the cost with only a $95 annual fee. That lower fee may mean fewer rewards, however, as you’ll only earn 2X Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar on dining.

10. Uber Visa Card

The Uber Visa Card not only offers 4% cash back on dining purchases, including restaurants and bars, but it also has a lot going for it in terms of utility abroad thanks to its Visa network and no foreign transaction fees.

Uber Visa Card

  • Earn 4% cash back on dining purchases, including restaurants, takeout, bars, and UberEATS
  • Earn 3% cash back on hotel & airfare, 2% for online purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

If you’re not carrying a better travel card, the Uber Visa Card can also be a good choice for certain travel purchases, offering 3% cash back on hotels and airfare, including vacation home rentals.

Best “Entertainment Rewards” Cards to Use in Europe

Although there’s certainly plenty to see and do on a European trip without paying for entertainment, chances are you’ll want to hit at least one museum, theatrical production, or sporting event while you’re on vacation.

The cards in this category all offer bonus rewards for entertainment purchases, which can help you find a little more room in the budget for adding some extra culture — or just having a little more fun.

11. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

This card is a great option for entertainment purchases, offering 4% cash back on everything from concerts and sporting events to museums and zoos. Plus, cardholders can also earn 4% cash back on dining and 2% cash back at grocery stores.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

If you’re looking to earn points for travel that are transferable to your favorite airline loyalty program, the Citi Premier® Card might be your perfect pick. It offers solid rewards points per dollar in multiple spending categories so users with broad purchase needs will reap the most benefit.

On top of bonus rewards in multiple categories, this card also offers a generous signup bonus that can be redeemed for some serious travel rewards. With no foreign transaction fees and an annual hotel savings benefit, this is a fantastic card option for those traveling overseas.

13. Marvel Mastercard®

The Marvel Mastercard® also pairs dining and entertainment, offering 3% cash back for both categories. While you’ll be stuck paying a 3% foreign transaction fee, if you can pre-purchase your tickets in US currency, you can score a decent return.

 Marvel Mastercard

  • Earn 3% cash back on dining, select entertainment, and eligible Marvel merchandise purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Unlike the Citi cards above, the Marvel card’s entertainment category excludes museums, art galleries, and sporting events from its bonus rewards. However, it does include movie theaters, theatrical and concert promoters, and amusement parks (including zoos and aquariums).

Best “Business” Cards to Use in Europe

Despite the focus on vacationers, of course, not everyone on their way to Europe is taking the trip for the sightseeing; business travelers spend millions of euros a year in European markets as they go about their, well, business.

On the plus side, while the business credit card market isn’t quite as flooded as the consumer market, there are still a number of great options for not only saving on your purchases in Europe, but on all of your qualifying business expenses.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has a ton of features that make it a great pick for your European purchases, including no foreign transaction fees, 3X Ultimate Rewards on the first $150,000 in bonus category purchases that includes travel, and a 25% redemption bonus for travel redeemed through the Chase portal.

15. Capital One Spark Cash for Business

This card is currently not available.

Business Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

With the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, regardless of currency, with no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you can obtain rewards-earning employee cards at no additional cost, making it easy to track expenses while your employees conduct business abroad.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is good for saving on business essentials no matter where you are thanks to no foreign transactions fees and rewards that include 5% cash back on up to $25,000 in office supply purchases and internet, cable, and phone services each year. Plus, earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in annual dining and gas purchases.

Shop Like a Local with the Right Card

Whether you’re headed to Europe for the English castles, the French cheese, or just the chance to see a little history, a European vacation can definitely be well worth its usually-high price tag.

But you can also get even more value out of your trip with a little smart spending. Ensuring your go-to card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, for instance, can easily save you 2% to 4% on every European transaction.

And a good chip-and-PIN card can help you fit in and shop like a local by avoiding awkward moments hunting for a pen for your US chip-and-signature card (or, worse, missing a train because your card won’t work at the ticketing kiosk).

No matter which cards you decide to take with you on your trip, however, be sure you contact your credit card issuers before you leave to let them know you’ll be making purchases in another country. Without advanced notification, your card issuer may consider foreign purchases to be a sign of fraud and put a hold on your card — which can put a crimp in your vacation agenda.

Advertiser Disclosure

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